Perhaps I’m getting older and showing my colors, but lately I’ve come to find social media to be simply exhausting. Around 2004, I joined an up and coming social networking site called Facebook after being turned off by the disjointed and hacked together MySpace experience. At the time is was an exciting new frontier where you could share all of your thoughts with an audience of followers. Twitter followed soon after and I was similarly enthusiastic.
But with time Twitter simply seemed like a crowded room where everyone had to scream to be heard. Often interesting tweets would fly by when I got up to get a coffee and were lost forever by the time I got back, buried under a cacophony of internet white noise. Trying to find those truly interesting tweets became a chore requiring the unyielding vigilance and late night police stake out.
With Facebook, heh, I actually remember lobbying my parents to join so we could keep in touch. We all know now that once your parents are using the same service you are, it’s instantly uncool. But that wasn’t it entirely. The problem I found was that I had to sift through tons of photos of kittens, quotes from Socrates ironically superimposed over idilic scenes, or notifications on all the crap people I know have decided to click the “Like” button on. (Spare me.) Facebook is great for knowing what people are up to but it’s a battle to get through the white noise to see what it really important.
I’ve given up on Facebook—and Twitter for that matter—I honestly don’t have time to sift though it. I much prefer one on one text messages, or even—dare I say it—phone calls. Having cut out Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Instagram and just about everything else, I’ve found I have less stress in my life about feeling like I’m falling behind. There’s no more pressure to check in everywhere I go think up witty comments to post on people’s posts.
So to quote a quote attributed to Socrates by someone on the Internet with Photoshop, “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing”. And sometimes, not knowing and sharing everything is best.